Two New Jersey children -- a 7-year-old girl and an 11-month-old boy -- who were found "bound and restrained" in the back seat of a car that went off the road earlier this week, died by suffocation, according to autopsy results released Friday.
The deaths of Samantha and Paul Ross, of Skillman, were ruled homicides. A source with direct knowledge of the investigation confirmed to News 4 that at least one of the children — possibly both — had duct tape placed over the eyes and mouth. There were no obvious injuries seen initially on their bodies, the source said.
The kids' mother Yuhwei Chou, who was found alive in the car with her two dead children when cops responded to Hillsborough's Mountain View Road just after 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, has been charged with first-degree murder.
Prosecutors in Somerset County say the two kids were in the backseat. Samantha Ross, who a police source said was a student at the private Waldorf School of Princeton and previously attended Orchard Hill Elementary School, was in a booster seat. Her baby brother was in a baby seat.
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They said Friday that they weren't releasing any potential motive because the circumstances leading to the children's deaths remain under investigation. Toxicology results for the kids are pending as well.
A source who was involved in the investigation told News 4 there were domestic issues between Chou and her husband, who was at work at the time the vehicle and children were discovered. The mother is being held in the Somerset County Jail as she awaits a detention hearing, prosecutors confirmed Friday.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office Major Crimes Unit at 908-231-7100.